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Looking Back, Looking Forward

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Today is my second wake up call.

I was looking back to when I last was keeping up with this. What progress I was making! From 270 down to 221!

I can't believe I threw it all away in the space of a year and a half.

I could make the excuses - buying a house, moving, losing my password, getting caught up in the "joys" of home ownership. But there is no excuse worth giving. I put my goals aside, and in so doing did myself some serious harm.

Today I'm turning my ship back on course.

Now that the weather is getting colder, the natural tendency to insulate myself with the old food ways is pulling at me strongly. I've been appalled by what I've been putting into my mouth this week! Stress is no excuse, emotions are no excuse. Neither of these would be felt as strongly if I had simply been eating better and exercising more.

Exercise is always tricky for me in winter, but the snow isn't on the ground yet! There has to be something I can accomplish today. Even if it's just trim a few boughs off the overgrown lilac trees and cut up the grapevines. It's a rainy day, but better to get it done now than have to toss it on the brush pile and waste the materials.

So today I'm saying I will take myself in hand again, and eat appropriately. I won't let others pressure me into eating fatty meats etc. 5 out of 7 nights a week, either! I think we should have at least a couple of vegetarian nights. If I plan it right, hubby won't even notice. He's always been very supportive of my goals and dreams - but, the lad likes his meatloaf and potatoes too. When he plans the meal, many times no vegetables are involved. I'm starting to call him on it and have been asking him to make changes.

Biggest change I need to make is to find ways to exercise this winter. The local gym is too expensive for us right now.

  


How I Began

Friday, September 15, 2006

April 10, 2002. That was the day of my wake up call.

I wasn't happy with myself, I wasn't happy with my life, and I rarely looked at the scale because I was, quite frankly, afraid to know. It was a year after I'd undergone reconstructive knee surgery. In that year, I'd gone from a size 14 in jeans to a size 24.

I'd spent three months of that year on crutches, then in physical therapy, only to be told by my surgeon that I would need to curtail many of the outdoor sports that I loved. How maddening! I'm not a girl who enjoys going to the gym. These places always smell funky - what I refer to as the "rancid foot smell". Eeeurgh. No, I'm an outdoors girl. I wanted to get back to the hiking trail, biking, skiing, try snowboarding, etc. All of these, my doc said, were out of my reach. Swimming was allowed, however. Excuse me, has anyone ever tried to get access to a public pool in Boston or Cambridge in the middle of winter? Good freaking luck. I was devastated. I ended up staying home more, becoming more inactive, and eating. Before I knew it, I was obese.

On that April day, something inside me was ashamed enough of myself to want to do something. I think what started it was seeing a recent photograph of myself and being shocked - seeing myself fat in a photo. Seeing myself as others could see me. That was the alarm bell. I signed on to Weight Watchers Online; they told me to weigh myself. So I did.

270lbs. That was my start weight, four years ago.

I admit that I wasn't a dutiful student of the plan - if I had been, I'd be at goal weight already. But I did learn key things, and that helped me lose my first 30lbs. My body kept trying to gain back the last 5 or 10, and I became frustrated with the WW plan because it didn't seem to be offering any solid advice on how to break through this. In-person meetings were worse, with the tsking and the ridicule. How is that supposed to fire up a person's self esteem?? I went through a couple of years of bouncing between 240 and 250.

Cut to this spring, when a friend on a knitter's forum pointed me to Sparkpeople. When I came here I was, you guessed it, back to 250. I'd managed to keep 20lbs off for four years! I held onto that victory in my mind as fuel for the fight - if I could do that, I could do more.

This place has offered me better tools for meeting my goals. The community is sweeter, more encouraging, and less competitive. I love the connections I've made here. The website engages me to rethink my world, and consequently, my self. Who knew that re-engineering one's life could be this fun and rewarding?

Today I got on the scale. I'm at 220lbs. This is a sweet victory; but even more so, is the fact that I can hike now. I can bike now. I do tai chi. I walk the dog a mile or more at a time. I may not ever go racing downhill on the ski slopes again, but I have found other ways to stay active and outdoors. I see myself get stronger every day, and it makes me happy.

  


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